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Method for analyzing pure carbon

  1. Aug 14, 2012 #1
    I have a sample on which I think carbon is formed physically but not chemically. What is an analysis technique to determine that there is carbon for sure?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 14, 2012 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    Welcome to PF;
    You have a black deposit on something?
    You can analyse it with a spectrometer - or a mass-spectrograph.
    Either is pretty sure.

    You could burn it in pure oxygen and test for carbon-dioxide... (bubble though lime water)
  4. Aug 14, 2012 #3
    what about a nondestructive test for carbon that's in a more crystalline form like nanotubes, graphene, etc? just curious, since in this case, you cannot burn it, mass spec it, or anything like that.
  5. Aug 15, 2012 #4

    Simon Bridge

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    You use a spectrometer like I said: you shine something on the sample, like light or some sort of particle beam, and examine the spectrum of either the reflected or transmitted beam.

    I have used 2 and 4MeV protons to determine the elements present in an unknown sample.
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